When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice. (via Goodreads)
I received a copy of The Bone Witch as an eARC from the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve gotta be honest with you – I loved this book SO MUCH. Tea’s story is told two ways – through her own eyes from ages 13 to 15, and through the eyes of a bard that she brought to her at the age of 17, as she’s controlling the daeva.
Tea, whose name is NOT pronounced like the drink unlike what my brain told me the entire time I was reading, is headstrong and dedicated, and she loves very deeply, which is what got her into trouble when she learned that she was a bone witch.
The world-building for The Bone Witch is amazing. Rin said on her blog that she based the area on a fantasy Middle East/Asia, and you can tell that’s where they’re based on, but the countries are also clearly their own.
The power the asha had really varied, which was awesome. All asha are witches, but not all witches are asha. Asha are the particularly talented witches, whose heartsglass turn silver, and have power over the usual elements. Tea finds out that she is a bone witch – a witch that has power over life, death and compulsion.
“Necromancy did not run in my family’s blood though witchery did. But my older sisters were witches of good standing in the community and did not go about summoning dead siblings from the grave as a rule.”
Other witches have healing powers or scrying powers, but not enough to do the work that asha do. but they were also entertainers and performers, somewhat like what I’ve read about geisha. If a man has the same powers as Asha, he gets conscripted into training to become a Deathseeker, which is like a special forces unit.
The idea of the heartsglass was really intriguing to me, and I loved that the heartsglasses had power over their owners when given away or taken away. The world-building is mind-bogglingly intense, and some people might find it to be more of an info-dump than they’d like, but I loved it.
I loved the characters in this – every one of the characters has a different motivation than you’d think, and they all took advantage of that and surprised me. I love being surprised by characters, especially when it still makes sense. The ending will leave you asking questions, and that’s one of the things I loved best about this book.
You can read an excerpt through Rin’s website here!
I’d recommend this to people who love diverse books, who enjoyed reading Sayuri’s growth into a geisha in Memoirs of a Geisha but didn’t want the gross fetishization, or who love some really great fantasy with a badass magic system.
If it sounds like your cup of tea, and I think it will be, you can buy it on Indiebound or Amazon when it comes out on March 7. Rin also said that she will be writing “at least a sequel” to The Bone Witch, which I, for one, cannot wait for.
I know several people that this book was perfect for, so I’ll be buying a few copies on release day. This was a five star read for me, no question about it.
Have you read it? Talk to me about it before I go insane!
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.
7 thoughts on “Review:: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco”
Really fab review, thanks! I’ve heard such mixed things about this book – and I’ll be honest, your review has made me even more confused! I think I’ll check out the excerpt – that’s a really good idea, thanks for linking it 🙂
I really hope you’ll like it. It’s slow moving but so, so good!
I am so getting this. I have read negative and positive reviews but death magic is so intriguing to me.
I so hope you love it as much as I do, Sinead!
Yesssss, I am so excited for this book! I read Rin Chupeco’s past two and loved the utter creepiness of her imagination, so I’m pretty much in the tank for anything she wants to do, absolutely including fictional necromancy. :p
I’m glad you liked it so much! The world building is the best aspect of the book. The Bone Witch just wasn’t for me though, it went too slow for me to really invest in the story.
I can understand that. The world-building was absolutely spectacular. I’m sorry you didn’t fall in love with it, though.